Contax as a brand will cease to exist after September in an announcement by its owner Kyocera.
The company has decided to terminate the business following poor sales. In a statement issued to the press President Yasuo Nishiguchi said:
“Although Carl Zeiss and Kyocera have entered into a long term co-operation regarding the development, production and sale of CONTAX-branded cameras, Kyocera has decided to terminate such business due to difficulties in catching up with the recent rapid market changes.
Consequently, Kyocera will terminate the shipment of CONTAX-branded cameras, and the exclusive lenses and accessories in September, 2005, except for the CONTAX 645 camera system, the shipment of which to some markets will come to an end in December, 2005.
Kyocera will continue to provide after-sales services to its customers for their CONTAX-branded cameras, and the exclusive lenses and accessories over the maximum period of ten years within the specified time of each model.”
Created in 1932, the Contax camera brand is one of the longest running brands in photography. Given this history, it wouldn't be surprising if earlier models became collectibles.